AEW’s Bryan Danielson was a guest on a recent episode of The Ringer Wrestling Podcast. During the conversation, he discussed his desire to do an MMA fight, and his relationship with Cody Rhodes.
Danielson and Cody Rhodes have worked together in both AEW and WWE. However, shortly after Danielson arrived in AEW, Rhodes announced he was stepping away from AEW. Despite not getting a chance to wrestle in AEW, the two men still have a long history and built a “great relationship” over the years.
“I have a great relationship with Cody. Cody and I have been friends for a long time. We’d ride together in WWE and all that kind of stuff. I, so I don’t know if you guys know this, this is probably just something that the boys know, but I’m a big-time liar,” Danielson said. “I love to lie. And my love of lying, like, I wasn’t a very good liar until I rode with Cody. Like, Cody taught me how fun lying is, right, just like, making up, saying something straight to somebody’s face, just the most absurd lie that you’ve ever said, right? Like, and so some of that, you know, like, you know, so I really enjoy Cody.”
Bryan Danielson’s known as a submission specialist in the world of AEW and all of professional wrestling. Despite this title, he has yet to compete in a legitimate mixed martial arts fight. Danielson expressed his desire to step into the MMA world just “once” to feel the difference between the two sports.
“Part of me wants to do an MMA fight where I just get, yeah, to just feel the difference. Because I’m sure it’s 100% different,” Bryan Danielson remarked. “If you’re bleeding from somebody punching you so hard that your eyes bleeding, I’m sure that sucks, right? That sounds like the worst, right? And I would only want to experience it once, just to know the difference, right?
“But when you’re wrestling, that’s not what happens, right, the bleeding is completely different. And so it’s — so there’s a unique energy to it. And that’s something that. like, ‘okay, we can’t do in WWE’. The violence, so when I got fired in 2010 for choking Justin Roberts and spitting in John Cena’s face, I came out with a shirt.
“One of the few times I’ve ever come out with my own merchandise. It said ‘Violent’ on it, and that was by design. It being like, okay, what I did was, one, too violent for television, two, we’re not allowed to say the word violent, right? So, that was a very purposeful use of the term. Now, there’s certain words that are, to me, very — I hate to use the word sticky, but like, you get a strong image in your mind and violence is one of them. So, and, you know, it’s not like, I don’t know. I’m not a violent person, right? I don’t want a violent world, but it’s using the term, there’s a certain gravity to it.”
Even though he hasn’t competed in an official MMA match, his training is rooted in the sport. Bryan Danielson’s fellow AEW superstar Malakai Black is another wrestler with MMA qualities. In the interview, Danielson also commented on the realism of Black’s strikes and the entertainment value of such.
“What’s interesting is the dynamic of how far martial arts has come along too. And so I like to train a lot and do Jui-Jitsu, and kickboxing, and stuff like that. So I like to incorporate a lot of that kind of stuff,” Danielson said. “When me and Daniel Garcia wrestled, there was a lot of just, like, flow that you wouldn’t necessarily see in a Bret Hart match because Jui-Jitsu, not that Jui-Jitsu wasn’t a thing, because obviously, it was a thing, but people are more like, they didn’t know what real fighting looked like or they didn’t know what a lot of the grappling looked like.
“And so, I think to a lot of — I think it’s easier now to add realism to that kind of stuff if you train, if you train in Jui-Jitsu, if you train in kickboxing when you train your strikes. I find, you know, when you watch Malakai Black, he does, he has these great body shots. Like, he has, because he’s a legit kickboxer and he has legit kicks and he turns over his hips and I think, like, I think you can watch a lot of people and be like, ‘oh, that guy really knows what he’s doing with this sort of thing,’ and maybe some other people don’t.
“But I think the fun thing is, a lot of the people who don’t add so much entertainment to the stuff and they bring different qualities, you know? So I think everybody, everybody has a, I don’t want to say everybody had a place. If you’re good enough at what you do, there’s a place for every different style.”
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